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Fire from Heaven: Pentecostals in the Secular City

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Abstract Is Harvey Cox’s Fire from Heaven which focused on Pentecostalism merely a mea culpa for the hubris of predicting the death of God in the 1960s or a case of using the “pentecostalization” of religions to describe the shape of religiosity in the emerging global civil society, global secular city? This essay shows how theologically liberal ideas in both his Fire from Heaven and Secular City are today used to theologize the relevant shape of faith in the global civil society in ways that hauntingly suggest Pentecostalism is implicated in the emergence and working of the global secular city which reject notions of transcendence in religion. The essay then challenges pentecostal theologians to seriously consider the question: In what way is Pentecostalism already secularized or secularizing from its core?

Affiliations: 1: Andover Newton Theological School Newton Centre, Massachusetts, Email:, URL:


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